AMC’s The Walking Dead (TWD) is in its fifth season and shows no sign of slowing. The comic book turned TV phenomenon follows our hero, Rick Grimes and his group of survivors as they try to navigate the waters of a post apocalyptic zombie invaded Atlanta has taken the world by storm.
The show is not only set it Atlanta, but it’s filmed here too. I’ll be perfectly honest it was probably one of the top reasons why I thought I might give Atlanta a chance. TWD is one of my all time favorite shows. In fact, I love it so much that I spent the better part of three years convincing my zombie fearing Mother that she should watch the show. I finally convinced her to watch Episode 1 from Season 1 a few weeks before she visited me. By the time she arrived in Atlanta she was already half way through season three. I thought that was enough to warrant a visit to our friends at Atlanta Movie Tours.
From their website:
The film industry is booming in Georgia, with over 700 movies and 20 television shows shot here since 1972. Atlanta has been fortunate to play a key role in many of them, including Driving Miss Daisy, The Vampire Diaries, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay and The Walking Dead. Since 2012, Atlanta Movie Tours has been providing a whole new way to see the city, revealing hidden corners of filming. Our Tour Guides are experienced actors who have worked on these sets, and they share fascinating behind-the-scenes stories you won’t hear anywhere else. Book a tour today and experience it for yourself!
Mind you, venturing through Atlanta looking for zombies on an empty stomach is a terrible idea. So here’s what I’d suggest, broken down by the TWD tours:
This tour starts early, so we knew a hearty breakfast was in order. My Mom and I ventured over to Buttermilk Kitchen on Roswell Road to gear up for the adventure ahead of us.
Their breakfast is perfect for zombie hunting. Just enough to keep you feeling full and energized but it doesn’t weigh you down. Although, to be honest, we put that theory to the test…we may or may not have ordered half the menu.
To read more about Buttermilk Kitchen click here.
If you’re familiar with the show, then you already know that the earliest seasons of TWD take place in the city of Atlanta and the direct outskirts of the city. This tour shows you locations from Season 1 all the way through to Season 5.
Our tour guide was Charlie, a lovely engaging storyteller who was also a walker on the show multiple times! All of their tour guides have worked on the sets of the shows they are speaking about, which I think takes the entire experience up a notch.
As a fan girl, I think one of the worst things in the world is to get excited about something you love, and then have someone else sort of just Kanye shrug and “meh” at you. The guides, staff and the guests are all so enthusiastic about this show the energy is contagious! You can’t help but get swept up in it all.
Some places I saw on Big Zombie Tour Part 1:
And that’s not even the half of it.
Now, I don’t mean to brag (okay, I do) but I was lucky enough to happen to be on a tour that was surprised by the drop in of IronE Singleton. He played TDog on TWD until he courageously sacrificed himself to save Carol in the prison (RIP).
That’s the thing about these tours. Don’t for a second think you’re going to get a cookie cutter script and the same ol’ tired spots. Because they actively film in Atlanta, sets are always being added and you might even bump into an actor!
After we spent an afternoon rubbing elbows with a celebrity and chasing filming locations all over Atlanta, we were ravenous.
Instead of BRAAAIIINNNSSS we opted to visit SCK Midtown to get our fix of Southern food with a twist.
My Mom got the fried chicken, which I’ve written about once before. I got the shrimp and grits.
However, the true highlight of the meal came before the entrees. We indulged in pork belly and chicken livers.
The pork belly was one of the most tender and flavorful dishes I have ever had, period. All you needed was the side of your fork to cut a piece and it would start to melt as soon as it hit your tongue.
The chicken livers were out of this world. We contemplated ordering another dish, but we decided to show some sort of self-control. They were cooked to perfection, tender with a flavor that was well rounded and bold. The best part though? The earthy taste of the liver still came through. I’ve been cursed with chicken livers that lacked seasoning or had too much – these hit the sweet spot.
Yes, there’s a part two!
These tours are a bit later in the afternoon, so after you’ve had your breakfast at Buttermilk Kitchen you might need a quick snack before hitting the town of Senoia.
My guilty pleasure?
I pass a Krispy Kreme on the way so…
This tour starts in Senoia, GA where they do a lot of the filming for TWD. Main Street is the setting they used to film the infamous town of Woodbury, home to the villain we all loved to hate: the Governor.
Now, there’s one thing I’d like to specifically address here: I had been to Senoia three times before taking this tour. I had done my research about filming locations and taken myself on an impromptu tour. However going with Atlanta Movie Tours was completely eye opening. There were so many locations and sites right under my nose that they have access to that I couldn’t access on my own or even knew existed. There really is no substitute for this tour if you’re a fan of the show.
Our tour guide this time was Michael. Michael had me laughing the entire tour. Not only did he have amazing stories from his time on set but he just might hate Carl more than I do.
GET IN THE DAMN HOUSE CARL!
Some sites we saw on this tour?
That’s not even the entire list!
Main Street has some options for food and drinks that shouldn’t be missed.
You can hit up Senoia Coffee & Café for a great cup of coffee and pastry. Pro-tip: Norman Reedus will sometimes get his coffee there before filming! They do also offer lunch and dinner.
You can also venture to Katie Lou’s for some BBQ. Although this isn’t my top spot for BBQ, the homey feel of the restaurant and friendliness of the staff is what keeps people coming back for more.
If you prefer the bar scene, you can check out Camp Southern Ground Social Club. The venue is large and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful. They have a full selection behind the bar and offer a variety of Mexican and Southern dishes.
These are only just a few of the food places you can find on Main Street, which are all nestled between antique shops and of course, a Walking Dead store!
Whether you are a local or a tourist – you cannot miss Atlanta Movie Tours! Make sure you head on over there, support local and enjoy an incredible experience that doesn’t have a comparison.
To connect with Atlanta Movie Tours (and to book your first adventure) click here!
Disclaimer: I was granted complimentary press passes to take part in the Big Zombie Tour Part 2. All opinions are my own, and are in no way influenced by any outside factors.